Donald Lawson intends to do the typical lottery-winner stuff: Retire, take care of his family, travel, get a new place to live.
But the 44-year-old Michigan man insists his $337 million Powerball prize - the third-largest in Powerball history, and seventh-largest jackpot in U.S. history - wonâ€™t change him.
â€śIâ€™m a millionaire now, but Iâ€™ll still go to McDonaldâ€™s,â€ť Lawson told reporters Friday at the Michigan Lottery headquarters in Lansing, where he came forward to collect on the August 15 drawing. â€śI donâ€™t like filet mignon or lobster. I like the simple life, and thatâ€™s what I want to continue to do.â€ť
Lawson, of Lapeer, was the sole winner of the August 15 prize. He chose the lump-sum cash option, which gives him $224.6 million, before tax, at once.
He said he quit his railroad engineer job after learning he won. He said he chose the winning numbers - 6, 27, 46, 51, 56 with a powerball of 21 - himself at a Sunoco gas station in Lapeer.
â€śI walked into the â€¦ station, and usually there ainâ€™t nobody up there, but there was a long line. But something from above - I do have to credit that - told me to go over there and pick my own numbers. I didnâ€™t pick them - my hand just went,â€ť Lawson said.
Lawson said his two children will now be set for college, and he told his close relatives to retire, â€śand they had no problem with that.â€ť
He said he plans to travel a lot, but for now, heâ€™s going to â€śgo somewhere safe and think about (what to do) and go from there.â€ť
â€śThis money wonâ€™t last forever unless I use it right and budget it right. Itâ€™s not a lot, $337 million,â€ť he joked, drawing laughter, before addressing the issue of taxes. â€śYou all think itâ€™s tremendous amount, but Iâ€™m kind of pissed at Uncle Sam â€¦ you know?â€ť
Eight other tickets won the $1 million Match 5 prize on August 15. Two of those tickets were bought in Indiana, and the others in Kansas, Kentucky, New Jersey, New Mexico, Pennsylvania and Virginia, lottery officials said.
The game's largest prize to date was $365 million, which was awarded in 2006 to a group of eight co-workers at a Nebraska meat-packing plant.
That record drawing happened when the cost for a Powerball ticket was $1. In January, the price increased to $2, with officials saying it would lead to an increased number of large jackpots. At the same time, the odds improved somewhat because officials reduced the number of red balls, the powerballs, from 39 to 35.
At $337 million, the Powerball pot still has ways to go to catch MegaMillions at the top of the list of U.S. grand prizes. In March, three tickets were sold for a drawing with the top prize of $656 million.
- CNN's Chris Boyette contributed to this report.
Good for him!
Live it up while those dollars are still worth something son!
Hey!... Get a full gym membership before you get a heart attack.
He's going to catch lawsuits from poor desperate people just for breathing on them or looking at them wrong.
Never a mention about a wife, just the two kids and close relatives. It would be supreme justice if he had a wife that left him because she thought he was a loser, a big boy playing railroad trains and eating at McDonald's, so she left him for some other man. That would be just desserts! At 44 and single with all that dough, he's set, never marry again there sonny boy! You'd be nuts to!
Talk about Robin Hood in reverse. Our government's lottery keeps taking from millions of poor people to make 1 individual rich!
If you like the simple life, eat whole foods, not McDonald's lol. Just sayin'
Pity he likes the simple life, cuz that life is OVER. You don't lead a simple life if you're managing that kind of money.
If you want to keep eating at McDonalds and want the simple life, then why bother playing the lottery?? I swear, the people that win these things are the dumbest people on Earth.
Of course – because you would have to be a moron to play / support the lottery system. The lottery is a regressive tax, one on those who can least afford to pay it. The lottery can talk about all the good things the money supports but the bottom line is they are enticing people who are mostly poor to part with their money, and these folks have essentially 0 chance of winning. But like they always say – "You can't win if you don't play" (although you probably definitely won't win).
Yes, but how do you propose to pay the medical bills?
Yeah, he got about 9 dollars of mine, counting the number of times I played before the winning jackpot for that draw was actually drawn. I think he owes me at least one nice lunch out so I can recoup my losses. lol, JK. Best of luck to him and prayers for a happy future with his winnings. Hope he will find financial guidance to help him manage his winnings and not permit greedy goons and con artists lurking out there take advantage of him.
Congrats! A CPA, tax lawyer (that have great references) and do as you said, sit down and think about what you want to do. Oh, and you might want to hire someone to deal with mail. There will be a lot of sad stories (I.e. I've was laid off in 12/06, not a good time to be looking), and you don't want you heart to run away with your helping everyone. You and your wife keep loving, supporting and communicating with each other and you'll do great!
Look at all u haters... Big,small,hott or not all u mo fos are just mad cause it isn't you. Let him enjoy it whether it's one day or for ever. Those always haters when ur doin something right. At least he had a somewhat real job that would of paid him some retirement.... Congrats Mann!! E
Pass the wealth around ... give us a bail out đź™‚ I mean will you really not notice if you hand out 10k to everyone who can email you in the first 60 seconds or text you with a good reason why we need it. My mom needs surgery lol and my dog needs a kidney....
He says the money wont change him yet he has quit his job and plans to travel. Yeah, that isn't a major change.
It is a full time job keeping track of all of that money. The travel part is to keep ahead of the pan handlers.
I just wish I could like @what you own owns you. Regardless innersix I think your nines are shining around the edges too, consequently, I agree with both of you. Wealth is an isolater in these times.
Dude needs to hire a personal trainer with all that money.
Why must one be called an idiot just because he doesn't like file mignon or lobster?? I mean, really?! You had no better comment to post than that? You have a sad existence. Or maybe you're just envy-stricken. whatever your mental case is, get a better life...
>>>CONGRATS, MR. LAWSON!! GOOD LUCK WITH YOUR FORTUNE.<<<
reply to ginalove40: the people posting harsh remarks about Donald Lawson are all so eaten up with bitter jealousy they have to spew out the venom.